The postseason’s first matchup of teams that finished the year in the College Football Playoff rankings will take place in Orlando at the Camping World Bowl. The Oklahoma State Cowboys and Virginia Tech Hokies both had games this year that could have propelled them into the discussion for the CFP, but losses in said games relegated them to playing in the No. 2 bowl game in Orlando in 2017.
Oklahoma State Bowl History
Mike Gundy’s first year at Oklahoma State was a poor one at 4-7, but he’s had the Cowboys playing meaningful December or January football every year since then. The results have generally been fairly good – a 7-4 mark that includes a 2011 Fiesta Bowl victory. The Pokes won the Alamo Bowl last year. A win in the Camping World Bowl would give Oklahoma State a third straight 10-win season.
Virginia Tech Bowl History
Virginia Tech is going to be a tough battle for Oklahoma State. The Hokies have won three straight bowl games. This, though, is their toughest tussle in the bunch. Virginia Tech has won the Belk Bowl, the Independence Bowl and the Military Bowl in the last three seasons.
The Hokies have been in a bowl every single year since 1993, the second-longest streak in the nation behind Florida State.
This is the second trip the Hokies have made to the Camping World Bowl. They won the 2012 game that was then-known as the Russell Athletic Bowl by beating Rutgers 13-10.
Why Oklahoma State Will Win the Camping World Bowl
The expectation was that Oklahoma State was going to have one of the best offenses in college football this season. The Cowboys accounted for 578.9 yards and 46.2 points per game, but we’re still a bit disappointed for a team that had one of the best quarterbacks and one of the best wide receivers in the nation in Mason Rudolph and James Washington, respectively.
Washington is going to be a stud in the NFL for sure, and this is his last chance to impress pro scouts. While Virginia Tech has a solid defense and isn’t going to be intimidated by this offense, Washington could make life difficult for the Hokies secondary.
Why Virginia Tech Will Win the Camping World Bowl
The Hokies didn’t allow more than 31 points in a game this season, and that came against a pretty darn good schedule. Virginia Tech might have been beaten by double-digits by both Clemson and Miami, but both games were at least remotely competitive.
Virginia Tech had a middling offense this season, but Bud Foster’s defense was second to few in Power Five football. The Hokies allowed just 13.5 points per game.
VT still spends a lot of time perfecting its special teams. The kicking game isn’t all that fantastic, but “Beamer Ball” is still alive and well under Justin Fuente. There will be some quirks on fourth downs for sure in this one, and little things certainly mean a lot in bowl games.
Camping World Bowl Prediction
Oklahoma State is relatively heavily favored in the Camping World Bowl, but all of the sharp action out of Vegas has been on the Hokies.
There’s definitely a reason for that. Oklahoma State wins a lot of its bowl games, but the team hasn’t scored 40-plus in the postseason since the 2012 Heart of Dallas Bowl. This defense isn’t good enough to ultimately cover its offense if it isn’t operating at a high level.
Josh Jackson is one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the ACC. He can certainly make some big plays both with his arm and his legs. We think he’s going to do just that against the Cowboys. This could be one of the most thrilling games of the entire bowl season.
Camping World Bowl Pick: Virginia Tech 42, Oklahoma State 35
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